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Big fundraising campaign for prototype youth health clinic in Kelowna

Image Credit: Abbie Rose
December 06, 2016 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - Two Kelowna organizations have joined forces to raise $2 million for an integrated youth health clinic in the city.

Kelowna is one of five cities selected by the province for the Integrated Youth Services Initiative, which is designed to bring existing resources like primary care, mental health, substance abuse and social services together and comes with $600,000 for a new facility and $500,000 each year for operational costs.

The Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Kelowna branch have vowed to raise $2 million in funding for the clinic, according to a media release.

Dr. Fernando Diaz, a local clinical psychiatrist says in the release "there is no question that youth mental health is the single most important challenge that we face."

The collaboration is new for the Hospital Foundation, as it typically works to fund equipment or infrastructure at Kelowna General Hospital, but CEO Doug Rankmore says youth mental health care is a significant issue for families.

“Many families are struggling to find help within a system that is no longer meeting their needs,” he says in the release. “Their stories become all too real in crisis.”

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